Marvin Lewis addresses fans, announces coaching staff change

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis held the longest press conference of his career Wednesday afternoon, speaking at the podium for 40 minutes after signing a two-year extension.

»COMMENTARY: New Marvin Lewis? New Bengals? Don’t hold your breath

In addition to addressing the fans and urging them to stick the team while talking about how close he believes the Bengals are to winning a championship, Lewis announced a couple of coaching staff transactions, including the re-signing of offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who appeared with him on the dais.

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Lewis said that offensive line coach Paul Alexander will not return and that special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons will. He also confirmed that Paul Guenther will interview for the same job with the Oakland Raiders before adding but didn’t rule out his return.

“That will be done very expediently, and hopefully we have an opportunity to get Paul back,” Lewis said.

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He said the Bengals will not wait to see how the Guenther situation plays out before looking at possible replacements. And he would not commit to remaining a 4-3 defense.

Lewis also said he understands the fan reaction to both the second consecutive losing season and the news of his extension, but he hopes they will “hang in there.”

“There’s no magic words that way,” he said. “We didn’t meet our expectations at all. So frankly, I understand that. if you’re a fan, then you’re fan. Let’s get on with it and let’s go.”

Alexander’s depature ends a 23-year career with the Bengals.

“I’d like to thank the Bengals for the career of a lifetime as I was honored to coach and work with the tremendous men in this organization,” Alexander said in a statement. “Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis are great men who I love and respect. But, as Coach Jim McNally passed the baton to me 23 years ago, it’s time for me to do the same. It’s just time.”